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Talk:Scuba diving

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Revision as of 06:27, 13 October 2009 by Burmesedays (talk | contribs) (Certified supplies? Tours? Divemasters?)
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This article has Star potential. It’s well written with great information. However, for Star status it needs both to be entirely complete and to perfectly match the Manual of style. If you see how it can be improved, please plunge forward or point it out on the talk page.

Scuba diving dedicated site

I based myself on the wikitravel model to start a wiki (using mediawiki as well) dedicated to listing diving sites around the world and information pertinent to scuba diver. I'm posting this here hoping there may be people here interested in getting involved in that project as well. I've only been playing around for now (copying pages from wikitravel and modifing them), trying to learn how to set-up the wiki. If anyone is interested, you could leave me a message on this talk page. An e-mail through this wiki would work as well. --Charles

Scuba diving information is quite welcome on Wikitravel as well — many destinations like, say, Sipadan get practically nothing but divers. Jpatokal 23:09, 25 Jan 2006 (EST)
I agree, but I was thinking of something with detailed information for divers about specific dive sites. An article could be about the Empress of Ireland specifically rather than about the general Rimouski area and information useful to divers could include depth, water temperature, typical visibility, recommended experience level, etc... I'm not looking to duplicate wikitravel with more emphasis on scuba diving but rather to make something specific to scuba diving. In fact, I think it would be great to link back to wikitravel, seeing as divers may want to visit an area they are travelling to. --Charles
If the info gets really detailed then a "Scuba diving in X" type article is perfectly fine if you ask me... Jpatokal 02:10, 27 Jan 2006 (EST)
I see a few problems with this. One is that maybe not everyone on wikitravel agrees. If I base myself on the music sections of goals and non-goals, one could argue that detailed information about a sport should only be included if that sport is part of the local cultural color or identity. Scuba diving can be done anywhere there's water and as such, maybe should not be included in wikitravel in a detailed fashion. After reading different debates on wikitravel on what should and shouldn't be included I came to that conclusion, hence my working on a separate wiki.
More practically, the main-classification tree of wikitravel is geo-political, Continents>Countries>States/Provinces/...>Counties etc...>Destination. This might not be the best suited approach for a wiki dedicated to dive sites. I could see a main classification tree that's mainly geographic as more useful with links to the political regions in the particular dive sites articles. So in an article on the empress of ireland, there would be a link to the wikitravel article on rimouski so someone could know where they would be travelling to. Another classification tree by type of dive sites would also be possible. My point is that I could see several ways of classifying the dive sites, which would end up creating a much separate project inside the same wiki.
Also, divers could want information specific about scuba diving on the main page. For example, the news section of the main page could well have news on the state of dive sites, resorts and dive shops in areas affected by conflicts or natural disasters. That information would be very valuable for divers, but probably not so interested on the main page of wikitravel.
Finally, divers could potentially start to include articles on diving techniques particular to certain dive sites. I would guess that information is probably not wanted on wikitravel, but could be of use on a scuba diving wiki.
I'm starting to wonder if my posting on this section of a talk page was spam. In any case, it wasn't intended as such. I thought it would be relevant to invite certain wikitravel members since there were a few mentions on the wiki of wikitravellers interested in scuba diving and so on. --Charles

It's not spam, you haven't even posted the link (and you're welcome to do so!). While I see what you're getting at, as an avid diver myself I'd prefer to keep the info in one place -- no matter how hardcore a diver you are, you still need to get a taxi from the airport and find places to eat, drink and sleep, which is squarely in Wikitravel territory. Why not a "Diving portal" inside Wikitravel that provides a dive-oriented entry point?

Also, the whole classification tree thing is quite new and we're still working out how to classify non-destination articles, so don't worry about that just yet -- see Wikitravel:RDF for some discussion if interested. Jpatokal 06:47, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)

I agree entirely that there should be a lot of opportunities to access wikitravel content from a scuba diving wiki and the other way around as well. This would be the case for many other sports if there's interest in it (like this golf discussion). I could think of cyclo-tourism or mountain climbing as potential candidates. Anyhow, my point is not to make a list of the other possibilities. I'm really only interested in scuba diving right now.
I like your idea of the scuba diving portal page and close interrelation between the two "sections" if I can call them like that. I would be all for making it as seamless as possible. I would still like to see the scuba diving section retain a certain distinct character. Both for it's own sake and for wikitravel not get swamped by scuba diving related information (were that ever to be possible). I guess at this point, the question I have is whether this would be better served by a single server or two seperate servers. I have set-up a wiki on a different server and reserved a domain name ( There really is nothing there right now except for a modified copy of the wikitravel main page and a few other pages. I was more playing around with the wiki to understand how to use it.
Could we move this discussion to a page with more exposure to get more input? Also, how the hell do I get the time stamp after my name on a page?!?! (You can tell my wiki skills are not so sharp yet) -- Charles
Wikitravel:Travellers' pub and Wikitravel:Requests for comment would be good places to post pointers. And signing your name is as easy as entering ~~~~. Jpatokal 10:39, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)

External links

An anonymous user re-added the external links section to this page. The now-removed links might be useful for research or for re-incorporation into the article:

-- Ryan 15:36, 6 March 2006 (EST)

The last two are already linked from the appropriate section (they're providers of dive certification). Hypatia 00:19, 17 May 2006 (EDT)
Links removed -- spam magnet & hitting blacklist --Peter Talk 01:52, 19 June 2009 (EDT)


So this is a big article and it covers a few different things. What should we do about it? Hypatia 22:01, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

For what it's worth, the reason it contains so much stuff about learning to dive is that I wrote it just after I learned, and I put everything in that I wished I'd known. I still think some info about learning would be merited, in particular: what certification means, whether to learn on your vacation, what the difference between a resort course or supervised dive and certification is. Some of the other seemingly travel relevant stuff is: liveaboard vs day trip, insurance, and, obviously, the destinations, which could probably do with their own article or index (ultimately a series of articles like Scuba diving in Australia). Hypatia 22:05, 1 June 2006 (EDT)

Sea sickness

We need to double-check the brand names. I've never seen something called dramamine in Australia, and it's not usually those chemicals listed at the moment either. Hypatia 19:18, 23 July 2006 (EDT)

Also the reason I keep adding a note saying that the illness is worse than the side effects sometimes is on behalf of my dive buddy, who threw up 20 times on his first dive day and started trembling and showing signs of dehydration. For the sake of people like that we need to acknowledge that sometimes the medicines are worth it, particularly if you hit the sweet spot between effectiveness and drowsiness. Hypatia 19:24, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
I can't tell you what brand it's marketed under in Oz, but the active ingredient is either dimenhydrinate (Dramamine: very drowsy) or meclizine (Dramamine II: drowsy). - Todd VerBeek 20:28, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
So, I take "Travacalm", and it says the active ingredient is something called "hyoscine hydrobromide". Which of those two is it? Hypatia 23:54, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
Neither. Hyoscine is another name for scopolamine. Jpatokal 03:14, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Ah, that's prescription-only in the US (sold in patch form as Transderm Scop and tablet form as Scopace). Also popular as a date-rape drug (I'm told). - Todd VerBeek 12:06, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Ah ok, I've wondered about the patch, because I've never heard tell of it here. Yeah, it's pharmacy medicine here: you need to have a pharmacist warn you about the side-effects, but you don't need a doctor to sign off on it. I wouldn't know about date rape drugs...Hypatia 18:19, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Wouldn't recommend scopolamine if you're trying to get into someone's pants: mild overdoses cause hallucinations and delerium, while bigger ones kill. (This is why it's prescription-only, especially in tablet form.) Jpatokal 21:39, 24 July 2006 (EDT)
Will definitely keep that in mind!Hypatia 21:44, 24 July 2006 (EDT)

Star status

The article was up for star status for a while, see Wikitravel:Star nominations/Slush pile#Scuba_diving for the result. We need to work on:

  • making the destinations list a complete overview of the world's best dive locations (perhaps applying the seven plus or minus two rule per continent?) together with nutshell summaries
  • adding a map of these major dive destinations

Hypatia 20:28, 31 July 2006 (EDT)

I'd just like to say that I found the article very comprehensive and useful, so thanks very much! 21:24, 12 April 2007 (EDT)

List of destinations

One of the criticisms from the Star nomination was that "I think the index of scuba destinations up front needs a lot more work — it should cover all the biggies and give nutshell summaries..." (comment by Jpatokal 09:40, 27 July 2006 (EDT)). I'm of the opinion that two things need to happen here:

Asia already has an enormous list of destinations — 20 at my count — and while as a relatively untravelled diver I do recognise most of them, I'm not sure that Asian diving merits an exception to the 7±2 rule. So, my idea is:

  1. start adding more destinations to under-covered continents, North America being the most glaring
  2. add nutshell summaries as requested
  3. start pulling some destinations out to Scuba diving in Asia (to follow the format of Scuba diving in Australia unless anyone has a better idea) — eventually of course we're likely to have Scuba diving in Europe and so on, but Asia has the most pressing need.

Hypatia 17:56, 26 August 2006 (EDT)

OK, I've started Scuba diving in Asia and cut down the list of destinations on this page. By all means edit them, but we want the number of listings to stay at 9 or less. Hypatia 03:20, 10 September 2006 (EDT)

Certified supplies? Tours? Divemasters?

The article has quite a bit about certifying divers, and presumably the instructors on certification courses would themselves be certified at some higher level. But is there any certification that tells me where I can get air filled competently? There was a case in my area when I was a teenager where several people died because someone was using a gas-powered compressor and got carbon monoxide in the tanks. I assume this is extremely rare, but it seems an easy blunder to make.

What certification should I expect the guides on a boat dive to have? Is this where a "dive rescue" cert comes in? Pashley 09:19, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

Instructors are certified by the agency that issues the diver certifications that the instuctor claims for the divers he or she trains. There is a certification commonly called "Divemaster", but having a range of names with the different agencies, that certifies that the holder is competent to lead a dive group of divers who are themselves competent for the planned dive profile, conditions and equipment. However, what you get in charge of your dive depends to a large extent on local legal requirements and customs. Some places you can expect a divemaster, other places it could be anyone. Similarly with boat skippers. In South Africa you are not allowed to operate a dive boat unless you have a skippers certificate for the appropriate category of vessel, and a dive boat skipper endorsement. In some countries all you need is to know which end of the boat is the front and be able to start the engine.
Similar situation for filling cylinders. Some places require a certificate of competence, others just specify that you must be competent in terms of specified legislation, others require only that you can start the compressor and connect a cylinder without breaking anything too expensive. There are legal requirements for breathing air quality in many countries, including probably all of Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Japan. Probably others too, but not necessarily all and not necessarily enforced. In South Africa a customer may demand to see the record of the latest air quality test, and it must be less than 3 months old (less for compressors that are used a lot).
Rescue diver certification is normally a prerequisite for Divemaster training, but again, standards vary, and competence too. Rescue diver certification is also highly recommended for recreational divers, as there is not a lot of point in the buddy system if a diver can not rescue the buddy in distress.
It is probably worth adding a section on this to the Scuba diving article, and also to the regional diving guides, which is where it can be specified what you can actually expect from your divemaster or filling station in that region. I suppose this would go under the Understand heading for the region.
I hope this answers your question. If not, ask again. Cheers, Pbsouthwood 10:23, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
To teach diving for any of the major recognised certfiying bodies, yes you must be at minimum a fully qualified open water instructor [1]. As for boat guides etc, I suspect different standards in different parts of the world. If you are a qualified open water diver though, at a minimum I would expect any guide on a boat (or elsewhere) to be a qualified dive master [2]. Dive Masters are often qualified Rescue Divers as well [3]. In practice in locations where I dive a lot, there is often a full instructor present as the boat I am for my fun dive is being combined with some teaching dives. On the air bottles - ouch - that's a very bad one. Not something I have ever heard of before. To fill bottles, you should be fully qualified to do so. PADI for example have a certification for this. --Burmesedays 10:31, 12 October 2009 (EDT)
It would be reasonable for a diver trained in a first world country to expect a qualified divemaster to lead dives, but is it realistic? I dont know from recent experience, but as far as I know this is not required by legislation in many places, though it may be recommended or even required by the certification agencies. This does not stop dive operators who are either not affiliated to an agency or dont care, from operating to different standards. My point is, dont assume, ask.
I have never heard of a PADI certification for filling cylinders. Could you point me to it? As far as I know it is not available in South Africa. Pbsouthwood 01:53, 13 October 2009 (EDT)
Peter, I was sure I had seen a piece about PADI having a minor course for tank filling procedures.... hmmm.... but digging around websites I cannot find it. You would know far more about this than me, and I suspect you are right. It just might have been a trimix or other technical diving tank course that got filed incorrectly in my brain (would not be the first time, nor the last).
The "ask don't assume" advice is certainly wise. I made the point in my initial reply that standards will be different in different places. I have to say though that in the 'third' world countries where I dive for fun (and learned to dive a fair while back), dive masters are always on an organised boat dive. I guess it will not only depend on where you are but which dive operator you trust. --Burmesedays 02:23, 13 October 2009 (EDT)